Work on an octagonal gazebo is nearly complete on Rose Hill at Manito Park.
The $60,000 structure was a gift from the Friends of Manito. It’s located near the dahlia garden and midway between the formal hybrid roses and the less formal old-fashioned roses.
Bacon Concrete of Spokane is the contractor on the project. A masonry company is scheduled to complete finishing work on the outer portion of the 14-foot-wide gazebo in coming weeks. Narrow beds with 14 white roses will decorate the foundation.
“We are just waiting on the rocks and the landscape around it,” said Steve Nittolo, horticulture supervisor for Spokane parks.
He said the new gazebo will add another location for park weddings.
The gazebo was modified by an architect from a standard design supplied by a Midwest company.
It has a metal roof and framing, a wooden ceiling and concrete footings.
The location provides a visual connection between the two segments of Rose Hill.
The gazebo comes after renovations last year at the Gaiser Conservatory, including a new level walkway, stream and artistic hand railing.
The railing was the work of artist Hazen Audel, who is from Spokane, Nittolo said.
The project involved installation of radiant heat within the walkway and overhead along the wall. New plant displays were also developed, including a rack for hanging orchid pots.
“It is a much gentler heat for the plants and it’s more efficient,” Nittolo said.
The improvements, at about $190,000, were a gift of the Jewett Foundation with smaller contributions from the Friends of Manito, Associated Garden Clubs of Spokane and the parks department.
The Jewett Foundation is connected to the conservatory through the late Mary Jewett Gaiser, a benefactor of the conservatory.
Also in the conservatory, new security cameras are keeping an eye on visitors and being used to deter plant thefts.
Nittolo said in one case a woman who had taken a plant and was pictured on the security camera ended up returning the plant by leaving it in the entryway, Nittolo said.
Because of ongoing partying and vandalism this past summer, the city parks department has been sending Riverfront Park security staff to Manito in the evenings to keep an eye on things, Nittolo said.
Elsewhere in the park, 14 new shade planting beds with irrigation are going into the grounds around the Park Bench Café. Planting could begin this fall.
Also, a major landscaping effort is about to start this fall at Mirror Pond, also known as the duck pond.
That project, which likely will be completed next season, is being financed through the parks department, a potential state grant and Friends of Manito. The cost is about $180,000.
In the future, Nittolo said the parks department would like to create better handicapped accessible pathways from the Gaiser Conservatory to Duncan Garden and to the adjacent street level.
Also, restoration work is underway on the northern pergola at Rose Hill.
Over the years, the park has become so popular for weddings that Nittolo said wedding planners need to call well in advance to reserve a date. The park requires wedding reservations and fees, although some parties try to hold weddings without paying, he said.
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